Salvation is on my Mind

I’ve got salvation on my mind this week. It is on my mind due in large part to a conference I attended last week.

My friends Ron Ethridge and Buddy Gray attended the True Church Conference at First Baptist Church of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, with me last Thursday and Friday. The True Church Conference was good. I was refreshed and challenged by the three speakers I heard preach.

Conrad Mbewe, Senior Pastor of the Katwaba Baptist Church in Lusaks, Zambai, preached on the topic: The Power of the Holy Spirit and the Miracle of Conversion. Mbewe’s message spoke to me on several fronts. Please allow me to express just a few of his thoughts.

At the beginning of his message Mbewe made a weighty observation about our salvation through Jesus Christ. He said,

“We are what we are because of the power of God. We are not a product of information. We are not the result of knowledge. We are not the result of creative teaching. Ephesians 2:5 says, ‘by grace you have been saved’. We are what we are because of the power of God…Salvation is the result of God’s omnipotence…If you are Christian today you are a product of God. It is not because of your cleverness or your Christian upbringing or the eloquence of the preaching you heard or the ambience of the room when you heard the gospel. It is because of God.

Later in his message he spoke about the will of God:

“The center of your life must be the will of God and the will of God alone. We must wake up each day and ask God, ‘what will you have me to do?’ We cannot give God an hour or two each week and then think we have the rest of the week to ourselves.”

The entire message was a great encouragement to me, and I regret only being able to share just a small tidbit of what he said.

It was his conclusion that spoke the loudest, however.

Mbewe concluded this powerful message by saying there are two signs of salvation we should look for in every believer. As you read of these signs, you should be asking yourself if these qualities are evident in your life:

The first sign of salvation is ONGOING REPENTANCE. When people are saved they are moved from being a slave to sin to being a slave to righteousness. Do they still see sin for what it is—it is a breach of God, it is an offense of God, it is the breaking of God’s Law? A true Christian is broken by their sin, because of what God’s Word says about sin. They are not broken by their sin because it troubles their spouse or because it is wrong. They see sin for what it is. They continue to bow to the word of God.
The second sign of salvation is FAITH, TRUE FAITH in the living God. If you were to tell a blind man in a dark room enjoying his favorite beer that there was a deadly cobra in the room about to kill him, he would think you were only trying to rob him of his present joy. But if his eyes were opened and you turned on a light so he could see, he would waste no time in getting out of the room. He would probably make a brand new opening out of that room. People who are saved have their eyes opened to the evils around them, God shines the truth of His Word on them, and they do everything in their power to live by faith in order to do God’s

Ongoing repentance and true faith…I like that. I think Mbewe nailed it. I am particularly interested in the sign of ongoing repentance. Perhaps later this week I can write about the importance of continuous contrition and real trust as necessary ingredients to the Christian life.

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